Many downtowns are deserted - ours is full of art and events all year!
348 E Main Street – Located at the corners of Main and South Lombard Streets, this public space plays host to the Clayton Farm & Community Market, Millstock Art & Music Festival and other downtown events throughout the year. In addition to the events, Horne Square is home to three of the sculptures featured in the Downtown Sculpture Trail that changes annually. Horne Square is also the temporary home to latest public art project, Before I Die...expression walls. Bronze historical markers embedded in the pavers are located throughout the project area telling the story of Ashley Horne and the residence that once stood on the site. The markers also point to surrounding buildings on and near Main Street as well as community buildings in the residential neighborhood just north of the project area. There is an oval parking lot in the center used for visitor and local downtown business parking. Watch a video about the history and making of Horne Square.
110 W Main Street – Located at the corners of Main and South Fayetteville Streets, this public space features two sculptures from the Downtown Sculpture Trail. Town Square is also a popular place to be for the Clayton Town Square Concert Series, Zaxby’s Movie Nights, and Clayton Shindig. Town Square is also home to the Town of Clayton Christmas Village & Tree Lighting that officially kicks off the downtown holiday season! A parking lot is used for events at Town Square, but also daily parking for Town Hall and The Clayton Center.
Downtown Sculpture Trail
Think Chicago’s Bean, the St. Louis Gateway Arch, New York’s Statue of Liberty! Ok, don’t think that big, but imagine what those cities would be like without those famous pieces of public art in their downtowns. Since 2013, The Town of Clayton can’t imagine being without its Downtown Clayton Sculpture Trail featuring new, intriguing works of art to adorn our Town's public spaces each year. We’ve attracted sculptors from as far as Florida and are excited to encourage resident and visitors alike to stroll this trail of nine sculptures that are enriching and engaging people all over downtown. Click here to explore the Downtown Sculpture Trail.
Outdoor Public Art on Sam’s Branch Greenway
To enhance the greenway and engage young people in the arts, the Town of Clayton’s Public Arts Advisory Board envisioned the creation and installation of a rotating series of public art projects on the trail. Now, thanks in part to a grant from the Johnston County Arts Council that project entered its second year in 2014 offering walkers, bikers and visitors to Sam’s Branch Greenway a surprising colorful display of art crafted by local high school, middle and elementary school children. Click here to learn more about the Outdoor Public Art on Sam's Branch Greenway.
The Clayton Center
A decade ago, the Town of Clayton and hundreds of community supporters had a vision: to preserve a precious piece of the town’s wonderful past and at the same time create a modern-day treasure that would become a jewel for residents and visitors alike. From the crumbling walls of a small town elementary and high school rose a performing arts center capable of attracting Grammy-Award winning artists and Tony-award winning production. Who could imagine the stage would showcase such greats as Doc Watson, Kathy Mattea, Colin Hay, Ricky Skaggs, or the Harlem Gospel Choir? Grab a ticket to one of the fun, diverse shows offered in the perfectly-restored 600-seat theater! Click here to visit the Clayton Center. The buildings also serve as a bustling Town Hall and a state-of-the-art conference center that not only attracts Fortune 500 companies for business events, but intimate weddings, vibrant cultural arts shows, and almost daily community meetings. In the lobby is also a monthly art exhibit that is sponsored by Clayton Visual Arts. On the first Thursday of each month there is a FREE Meet & Greet evening with the featured artists. The rotating art stays up all month long. Stop in and see it today!
The second floor off the lobby of The Clayton Center also features the Town’s first ever public art project, an incredibly colorful mural of Town scenes called “Clayton Patchwork.” Beloved and long-time Local artist Dorothy Demboski spent weeks perfecting the 10X10 foot mural and unveiled it in 2010. See if you can spot all the Clayton icons hidden within and learn more about how public art and this patchwork are enriching our community by clicking on this great video.
The Clayton Library
The Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library is filled with art and artists – every book on the shelves is a work of art! But aside from books, the Clayton Library also displays art of the traditional sort. Our marque artwork is a 10-foot tall, 27-foot long permanent mural on the hallway wall connecting the library’s main collection to the south wing. “True Colors,” painted by artist Jim Brown depicts the life and times of Clayton and was the Town’s second public art mural. Unveiled in 2010, it colorfully displays historic scenes and people of Clayton community. See if you recognize anyone – many are based on real Claytonites! Also, the library showcases the work of local artists on a rotating monthly basis. In the Main Room, we have a wall for paintings and photographs, and a space for sculptures and other three-dimensional works. We are always accepting applications for future exhibits. And don’t forget about the History Room, where we have a different exhibit every quarter! The hallway walls and display cases highlight a variety of documents, photos, books and maps that capture the rich history of our Clayton community.